2021 Western Chapter Annual Meeting Speaker Bios


Speaker bios

Ali Amirali, Senior Vice President, Starwood Energy Group

Amirali,_AliAli Amirali is a Senior Vice President of Starwood Energy Group. In this role, he is responsible for the expansion of Starwood Energy Group’s StarTrans high-voltage transmission assets, as well as for new business/project opportunities in the transmission and distribution arena in North America. He also supports the origination, development and acquisition activities associated with utility-scale power generation and storage projects. Prior to joining Starwood Energy Group in 2010, Mr. Amirali held a variety of key technical and leadership positions at Element Power, LS Power, Calpine Corp., California Independent Systems Operator and Pacific Gas and Electric Company.  He has participated in the development and interconnection of more than 5,000 megawatts of electric generation in the Western U.S. and Mexico, and has developed and managed several large transmission line projects designed to improve reliability, reduce congestion, and deliver energy from thermal and renewable resources. Mr. Amirali received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the Iowa State University, an M.S. in electrical engineering from University of Idaho, a Master’s of Engineering in engineering management from the University of Colorado, and an MBA from Colorado State University. He is also a licensed Professional Engineer registered in the state of California.

Tony Clark, Senior Advisor, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP

Clark,_Tony_-_PhotoAs a former FERC Commissioner, a Chairman and Commissioner of the North Dakota Public Service Commission, a former President of the National Association of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners, the Labor Commissioner of North Dakota, and a member of the North Dakota House of Representatives, Tony is a nationally recognized thought leader in energy policy who draws on years of government service to provide clients with analysis and strategic advice on a variety regulatory and public policy matters affecting their businesses.  His tenure on the North Dakota Commission coincided with the state’s historic emergence as a leader in energy production.

He primarily works with clients in the energy and telecommunications industries, speaking frequently before groups regarding the state of the utility industry and the public policies that impact it.  He has also testified multiple times before Committees of the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House, state legislators and regulatory commissioners. More.

Laurie Edelstein, Partner, Steptoe

Edelstein,_Laurie_-_PhotoLaurie Edelstein is a trial lawyer dedicated to partnering with her clients to tackle and resolve difficult problems. She is known for her mastery of the facts and the law and her effective representation of companies and individuals in complex business disputes, energy matters, regulatory litigation, antitrust and competition matters, and white-collar cases. Her cases often involve the intersection of litigation and regulatory regimes and have spanned a broad range of industries from energy to financial services to health care to insurance. Laurie also advises companies on compliance issues and policies and procedures.  

Laurie is passionate about her work and combines creativity, sound judgment, and fierce advocacy to achieve results for her clients consistent with their business objectives and regulatory obligations. She uses targeted discovery and strategic motion practice to obtain successful outcomes before trial. But when necessary, Laurie is prepared to take a case to trial. More.

Meghan Grabel, Partner, Osborn Maledon

Grabel,_Meghan_-_PhotoMeghan Grabel is a partner in the firm’s Administrative Law group, where she leads the firm’s Energy, Water, and Utility Law practice group.  Having served as both Associate General Counsel of Regulatory and as head of the revenue requirement and rate design departments for Arizona’s largest investor-owned electric utility, Meghan has a unique blend of substantive energy and utility industry business knowledge and legal acumen.   At Osborn Maledon, Meghan represents energy, water, and wastewater companies in their transactional and regulatory matters, including expansion of service areas, rate cases, financing applications, negotiation of various extension and service agreements, plant acquisitions and divestitures, renewable energy and transmission projects (including approvals and development), and appeals from adverse administrative and public utility commission decisions.  She represents telecommunications and technology clients, including cable and telecommunication providers, in contract negotiations and legislative activities with state and local government.  She has also represented large industrial and commercial users of electric services in commercial proceedings and negotiations.  Meghan regularly represents parties in power plant and line siting proceedings, as well as policy dockets and rulemakings at the Arizona Corporation Commission.  She has also represented mining companies in land entitlement, permitting, and transactional matters.  Meghan also plays an outside counsel role for several clients, providing legal and strategic advice on various corporate issues.  Meghan teaches a course on Utility Law and Regulation at the Arizona State University College of Law.

Before entering private practice, Meghan was a judicial clerk for Judge Barry Silverman on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and for Justice Andrew Hurwitz of the Arizona Supreme Court.  She graduated first in her class, summa cum laude and Order of the Coif from Arizona State University.  She balances her law practice and community activities with singing in a band, learning to play guitar, and spending time with her family. More

Suedeen Kelly, Partner, Jenner & Block

Suedeen,_Kelly_-_PhotoSuedeen G. Kelly is a highly recognized energy practitioner and former commissioner with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  She represents a variety of clients in the electric and natural gas industries on business, regulatory, litigation, enforcement and policy matters such as electricity and gas markets, renewable energy, electricity transmission, natural gas and oil infrastructure, LNG, electricity reliability standards, hydro licensing, carbon emissions, smart grid, energy efficiency and distributed generation.

Ms. Kelly’s knowledge of the national electric and natural gas industries includes significant experience in infrastructure development and operation, market structures and financial products, emerging technologies, federal and state laws and regulations, impending policy changes and domestic/international market interrelations.  She is an experienced litigator on energy and environmental matters in federal and state courts. More.

Kathy Knoop, Energy Innovation Advisor, APS


Kathy Knoop is an Energy Innovation Advisor at Arizona Public Service. She is the APS subject matter expert on electric transportation.  She advises on program development, strategy, grid impacts, charging infrastructure, EV marketing and customer outreach and education. Kathy regularly presents EV related topics to both internal and external audiences to assist them with a greater understanding of the issues surrounding transportation electrification.

During Kathy’s 29 years in the utility business, she has also worked on renewable energy policy, supporting environmental compliance aa utility sustainability programs, including greenhouse gas emission accounting and reporting. Kathy was born in Phoenix, Arizona and attended Arizona State University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry as well as Master’s Degree in Environmental Management.

Doug Patterson, Founder, President, Southline Transmission Project

Patterson,_Doug_-_PhotoDoug Patterson is the Managing Partner of Black Forest Partners, an investment and development firm focused on electric infrastructure. He is the founder and President of Southline Transmission, L.L.C.

The Southline Project is a major new transmission path enabling world class wind and solar resources from the Desert Southwest to reach key markets, while bolstering the regional electrical system. Fully permitted and shovel ready, Southline minimizes land and resource impacts by routing along existing infrastructure, and by upgrading existing transmission lines where feasible—an innovative approach that respects the region's community, natural, and cultural resources, while providing benefits to multiple parties. Southline will provide up to 1,000 megawatts of transmission capacity in both directions, and will interconnect with multiple existing substation locations, bridging a large gap between systems in southern New Mexico and southern Arizona.

Doug has 28 years of investment and development experience. Prior to Black Forest, he was a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs where he led a principal investing team. Doug studied Government and Economics at Dartmouth College and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Doug actively participates in transmission planning in the WECC region, is a member of the WestConnect Planning Management Committee and various regional planning subcommittees.

Lea Márquez Peterson, Chairwoman, Arizona Corporation Commission

Peterson,_Lea_-_PhotoArizona Corporation Commissioner and President of Marquez Peterson Group 

Lea was appointed to the Arizona Corporation Commission in May of 2019 and was elected statewide to serve a 4-year term in 2020. The Corporation Commission’s primary duty is to regulate the state’s utility services to ensure that we have safe, reliable and affordable energy. She is the first Hispanic woman to serve in a statewide seat in the history of Arizona. 

Lea has been an entrepreneur in Southern Arizona for many years and served as the President/ CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber from 2009 until November of 2018. The Tucson Hispanic Chamber serves the business community in the bilingual, bi-cultural region of the Arizona-Sonora border and was recognized as the Hispanic Chamber of the Year in 2013 by the U.S Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  

She previously served as the Executive Director for Greater Tucson Leadership (GTL) from 2005 to 2009 and owned and operated a Business Brokerage Firm from 2005 to 2009 and a chain of six gasoline stations / convenience stores with fifty employees from 1998 to 2005 in the Tucson region.  

Jordan Pinjuv, Senior Counsel, California ISO

Pinjuv,_Jordan_-_PhotoJordan Pinjuv is Senior Counsel at the California ISO providing legal support for transmission planning, market policy development, and real-time operations.  Jordan represents the ISO in numerous proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and other state agencies.  In these roles, Jordan focuses on issues regarding procurement planning, short-term resource adequacy, renewable integration, and transmission permitting. Before joining the ISO, Jordan served in various capacities at the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada.

Tony Ruffine, Head of Renewables, Emera Technologies LLC

Ruffine,_Tony_-_PhotoTony Ruffine has been working with the Emera Technologies LLC team since 2019 heading the solar program and working with utilities and homebuilders to further develop the business. Tony has worked on project financing and new product launches for several years and brings a lot of experience to the ETL team. Tony held leadership positions at GAF, the largest roofing manufacturer in the world, where he launched the renewables business including leading tax equity investments into over $1B of projects. Tony lives in Arlington, Virginia.

Todd Schatzki, Principal, Analysis Group

Schatzki,_Todd_-_PhotoDr. Schatzki has a broad range of expertise in energy, environment, finance, and competition matters. He supports clients in a range of contexts, including strategic and financial advice, policy analysis, regulatory and rulemaking proceedings, and litigation.

Dr. Schatzki has deep experience in electricity, natural gas, petroleum, and renewable energy. His expertise in the electricity sector includes wholesale energy and capacity market design; utility regulation and ratemaking; economic impact analysis of new market rules, regulations, and generation and transmission investments; contract analysis and disputes; financial valuation; and options analysis. Dr. Schatzki has testified before US state and federal, as well as Canadian provincial, regulatory commissions. He has supported the analysis of alleged market manipulation and damages in high-profile litigations such as FERC v. Barclays and lawsuits following the California electricity crisis.

Dr. Schatzki works extensively on environmental economics, policy, and regulation. Recently, he has focused on the intersection of climate policy and energy markets, and disputes involving water resources and environmental contamination. His research has been published in distinguished energy- and environment-related publications, and he has provided research for prominent organizations such as the Electric Power Research Institute, the Edison Electric Institute, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

In finance and competition matters, Dr. Schatzki has worked with clients on litigation and non-litigation projects in many sectors, including energy, financial instruments, foreign exchange, insurance, airlines, and retail products. More.

Marc Spitzer, Partner, Steptoe

Spitzer,_Mark_-_PhotoMarc Spitzer counsels and represents utilities and energy companies before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), at state utility commissions, Congress, federal agencies and state legislatures. Marc's clients rely on his deep understanding of the energy sector backed by years in appointed and elected government service. Marc served as a FERC commissioner from July 2006 to December 2011. He also served six years on the Arizona Corporation Commission, including a term as ACC chairman. First elected to the Arizona State Senate in 1992, Marc served four terms, including as Senate Majority Leader. One of his clients says Marc "has a keen political instinct for FERC matters and a broad knowledge of the subject matter that makes him an extremely effective advocate."

His electric utility clients have included Southern Company, Duke Energy, Edison Electric Institute, Southern California Edison, Arizona Public Service, Salt River Project, Hunt Utility Company, Tucson Electric Power, Exelon, and Pepco for regulatory and public policy work. Marc also represents natural gas and oil pipeline clients such as Southwest Gas, Rockies Express, Energy Transfer Partners, Enbridge, and Freeport LNG before FERC and other federal and state agencies.


Sultan,_Tahiya_-_PhoroTahiya Sultan works with clients innovating at the frontier of the energy, environmental and transportation sectors, helping them to find creative routes through the regulatory hurdles they face. Having worked at the Marin Municipal Water District, the California Public Utilities Commission, and the U.S. Department of the Interior, Tahiya has a firsthand understanding of the entities with whom her clients interact, and can offer advice with an insider perspective. In addition, she has represented multiple municipalities, including the City of San Bruno against PG&E in the San Bruno pipeline explosion proceeding. When coupled with her background in public sector regulation, Tahiya's resourceful approach to reconciling policy interpretation with technological evolution makes her practice as enterprising as it is informed.

From local ordinances, to state laws, to federal policy, Tahiya represents clients in all stages of energy and environmental regulation. She routinely appears before state regulated entities like the California Public Utilities Commission, the California State Water Resources Control Board, and the California Energy Commission. She has special experience in matters relating to CEQA, NEPA, and Proposition 65, as well as issues of liability for investor owned utilities following the 2017 and 2018 California wildfires. In 2018, Tahiya was chosen as a Clean Energy Leadership Institute Fellow. Tahiya serves as a Diversity Ambassador to promote diversity in the legal profession.

Mark Sundback, Partner, Sheppard Mullin

Sundback,_MarkMark Sundback is a partner in the Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental Practice Group in the firm's Washington, D.C. office.

Areas of Practice

Since 1981, Mark has been engaged in the representation of energy industry participants before federal and state agencies charged with jurisdiction over energy markets and their participants. His representations have focused on the rates, terms and conditions associated with gaining access to regulated energy transmission systems, transactions involving changes in ownership of jurisdictional assets and unbundling matters.

Retail Electric

Mark has been involved in rate proceedings with regard to retail electric service of numerous utilities including Florida Power & Light, Tampa Electric, Duquesne Light, Allegheny Power Utility subsidiaries, First Energy utility subsidiaries and other utilities in various jurisdictions including Texas, Maryland and Washington, D.C. He also has appeared before the regulatory commissions of numerous states. More

Adrienne Thompson, Associate, Troutman Pepper

Thompson,_Adrienne_-_PhotoAdrienne represents a variety of energy industry clients in matters ranging from state and federal regulatory compliance to power purchase agreements and other transactions. Her practice focuses particularly on administrative issues before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), especially as they concern the Federal Power Act and the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978. In this capacity, she counsels clients on regulatory compliance and business issues implicated in transmission- and interconnection-related agreements, which often includes drafting unique solutions for complex FERC and commercial concerns.

In addition to regularly assisting clients in FERC matters, Adrienne advocates for clients in various rate case and tariff-related proceedings before, and disputes involving, the Bonneville Power Administration, CAISO and other ISOs/RTOs across the country, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, to help protect client commercial interests and transmission rights. Regardless of the venue or issue at hand, Adrienne’s goal is to efficiently translate complex energy issues into understandable and actionable advice. More.